Traffic Management Plan

Many types of businesses are exposed to traffic — whether it’s constructions sites with heavy vehicles moving around, retailers receiving frequent stock deliveries, or warehouses moving stock around with forklifts.

As anyone who has worked in these industries may know, being exposed to traffic means being exposed to risk. Employees, visitors and passersby are all at risk of injury if businesses don’t have a plan for effectively dealing with traffic. A Traffic Management Plan communicates how to manage traffic risks in the workplace and reduces the risks to pedestrians.

What’s included in a Traffic Management Plan

The plan may include details of1:

  • the desired flow of pedestrian and vehicle movements
  • the expected frequency of interaction between vehicles and pedestrians, and
  • illustrations of the layout of barriers, walkways, signs and general arrangements to warn and guide traffic around, past, or through a work site or temporary hazard.

In short, it’s a guide to safe passage through a worksite for both vehicles and pedestrians.

How to develop a Traffic Managemet Plan

The standard risk management process should be used to develop a systematic plan, and has several steps1:

  • Identify the hazards. Review areas involving vehicular and pedestrian traffic to determine what could cause harm.
  • Assess the risk. Understand the nature of the harm that could be caused by the hazard, how serious the harm could be, and the likelihood of it occurring.
  • Control risks. Eliminate the hazard or implement the most effective control measures possible.
  • Review and supervise control measures to ensure that they’re working as planned.

As with most risk management processes, consultation with staff is paramount. By gaining input from staff, ownership of the Traffic Management Plan is enhanced throughout the organisation. Maintaining the control measures with front line staff is vital to the system being effective.

Consider producing a diagram of the external or internal areas of concern. This could help to provide a visual interpretation of the area and communicate specific risks.

Control measures to consider

Separating pedestrians

Consider ways of reducing or eliminating pedestrian and vehicle interaction. For example, can forklifts be substituted for other load shifting equipment?

Provide pedestrian-only lanes or zones in which vehicles such as forklifts cannot be used. This can be achieved by simple lines on the ground, or physical barriers such as guardrails and gates.

Vehicle movement controls

Provide one-way-only vehicle movement around the interior and exterior of buildings. Where vehicle access to buildings is required, use separate entry and exit points. Use clear signage and ground markings restricting movement such as direction arrows, stop signs and speed limits. Audible warning systems, such as those for reversing, can be useful.

Safe crossings

Provide safe crossing through areas that are designated for vehicle use, such as marked pedestrian crossings and interlocked gates. Clear training and procedures on who must give way at pedestrian crossings is important. At pedestrian crossing points, consider prominently displaying a warning sign to encourage both pedestrians and vehicles to pay visual attention.

Parking areas

If you can, ensure that general parking areas are close to access doors for visitors and staff. In these areas:

  • consider vehicle speed reduction by use of speed bumps
  • ensure enough clearance space is available for larger vehicles to park with ease, and
  • ensure trip hazards are minimised and/or readily identified by the application of “safety yellow” paint.

The areas around the site should be well maintained. In loading bay areas, ensure there are clearly designated driver safe areas and good driver instruction and supervision. Any customer pick up areas should be completely separated from loading bay areas. Customer pick up areas should be in close proximity to pedestrian walkways, be fully supervised and be separated from the main workings and vehicle traffic on site.

A traffic management plan should be regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure it is effective and takes into account changes in the workplace. It is paramount to ensure workers understand the traffic management plan and you should provide information, instruction and training on its use1.

Workers Compensation Insurance

GIO can offer Workers Compensation Insurance for businesses in WA, NT, ACT and TAS. Complimentary training courses are available for GIO customers to help businesses prevent workplace injuries and reduce associated claims costs. Customers also have access to a wide range of discounted training courses provided through our partnership with National Safety Council of Australia (NSCA). For more information on the training courses or if you have any risk management queries, please get in touch.

Learn more about Workers Compensation Insurance

Read more:

1Safe Work Australia: General Guide for Workplace Traffic Management

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. In NSW, GIO manages claims as agent for the Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer ABN 83 564 379 108, also known as icare workers insurance.  The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.